Umpire stands down
Friday, 15th July, 2016
By Tyler Hannigan
The local umpire at the centre of the case against North’s Quinton Beavan has parted ways with AFL Broken Hill.
While the decision was reportedly mutual, an AFL Broken Hill spokesperson said that it was unrelated to the case against Beavan that saw him suspended for seven games and subsequently deregistered from football in Australia.
When questioned on why the person left the umpiring panel the spokesperson declined to comment.
North President Justin Hoskins said the only person to report Beavan was the interchange umpire.
“Others (had) obviously seen nothing worth reporting,” Hoskins said in a press release yesterday.
“The reporting umpire has since miraculously been removed from Broken Hill’s umpiring ranks,” he said.
“We hope that this vanishing act had nothing to do with AFL NSW/ACT’s refusal of our appeal based on the grounds that the only person who could corroborate the case is no longer umpiring in Broken Hill.
“We would like some answers here as well.”
The person in question was the interchange umpire during Central and North’s fiery clash at the Jubilee Oval nearly two weeks ago. He leveled the reports that resulted in North’s coach David Ruddock charged with abusing an umpire for which he was given a one-match penalty as well as the sanctions against Beavan for umpire abuse and spitting.
“We feel it’s anyone’s right to question someone’s character when you feel you’ve been wronged by that person,” said Hoskins yesterday.
“We’re not out to question the umpiring fraternity as a whole.”
North appealed the sanctions against Beavan but their case was dismissed by the Chairman of the Appeals Board Peter Friedlieb on the grounds that; there was no error of law, he did not believe that the decision was unreasonable and that the classification nor the penalty was manifestly excessive.
The AFL BH spokesperson yesterday maintained that the umpire in question should still be available for any subsequent appeals made by the North Football Club.
Hoskins stated that the club “isn’t giving up” on the appeals process and that their legal team of Ash Bidhendi from Precision Legal and Andrew Culshaw from Len King Chambers are working through the “appeals by-laws, point-by-point and making sure that they were followed to the letter of the law which we don’t think that they were in this case”.
When asked how Beavan, the playing group and indeed the entire North Football Club were handling the situation, Hoskins said that there was a “really depressing” atmosphere down at the club at the moment.
“We are also acutely aware of how a lifetime ban from football could seriously affect his (Beavan) future,” said Hoskins.
“He’s shattered as are the playing group.”
If the sanctions are upheld and Beavan is deregistered, there is a provision for appeal as part of the Australian Football Player and Official National Deregistration Policy but the appeal may not be made until at least 12 months after the date on which they were deregistered.
This rules Beavan out for this season and two thirds of next season at the very least.
The media “blackout” that was imposed by the football club last week was less about the media and more about handling the in-house matters, according to Hoskins.
“The media blackout wasn’t about the media, it was about us.
“It had nothing to do with the stories that had been run, it was nothing to do with the media, it was about us being able to handle the stuff that we had to.”